If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team.
The A-Team just skipped my generation. I was born in 1982 and the TV series ran for five years, from 1983 to 1987. BUT I still consider myself a genuine A-Team fan. One of my fondest childhood memories is going to stay at my aunt and uncle’s house and watching masses of A-Team episodes with my cousins, who recorded the show on good old VHS. My favourite character was (and is) Hannibal. I loved his disguises, his devil may care attitude and, most importantly, he was the boss – as the older sister of two younger brothers, I too liked being The Boss. Twenty years down the line I can still recall certain scenes and episodes from the show.
When I found out that my beloved A-Team was to be made into a feature film, I was hysterical with excitement. Although my A-Team memories are not something to be messed with, I am a fan of creative license. I love the original characters; George Peppard’s cheeky grin, Mr T’s sardonic wit, Dirk Benedict’s charming charisma and Dwight Schultz’s magnificent mania – each actor lent a little bit of himself to his A-Team character. I did not expect the film to be a mere reproduction of the hit series. New actors, new era, new film. But what I did expect was the essence of the television show to be represented in the feature. And I was not disappointed.
Tongue-in-cheek is the name of the A-Team’s game. The episodes of the 80s series were formulaic, the violence over the top (although no-one was ever seriously injured), the dialogue exaggerated (and so damn funny), and the plans and contraptions fantastical to the max. Director Joe Carnahan imbued his modern feature with a vivacious sense of humour, true to the TV series. One of my favourite scenes in the film is a plan hatched by Hannibal that involves the appropriation of a military aircraft and an army tank, containing the members of the A-Team, parachuting from said aircraft. Then Face pops out of the tank, mid-air, in order to machine gun the pursuing aircrafts. And the insanity escalates – Hannibal instructs Face to fire the tank’s large calibre gun in an attempt to blast the tank in the right direction or, in other words, fly the tank – as noted by an exasperated Charissa Sosa (Jessica Biel). It was spectacular. It was cool. It was improbable. It was the A-Team. One can only appreciate the imagination and laugh out loud in response.
Carnahan’s film testifies to the fact that the spirit of The A-Team has lived on in popular culture. B.A Baracus (originally played by Mr T) has become a sort of cult icon. Fans will remember B.A’s one liners with a fond smile:
“Shut up, fool.”
“I’m gonna kill that crazy Murdock!”
“You messed up, now I gotta mess you up. It’s the law!”
“You pancaked my van! I’m gonna kill you, fool!”
“I’m BA, and you’re gonna be unconscious.”
“You been greasin’ your head with battery acid again, Murdock?”
“I ain’t gettin’ on no plane!”
“I have no time for the jibber jabber!”
My daughter is a year old an unbeknownst to her I have great plans to indoctrinate her in the awesomeness of the ‘80s series’. My list includes Magnup P.I, MacGyver, Airwolf, Knight Rider and The A-Team of course. She has no idea what she is in for…